Champs France have a good start

RIO DE JANEIRO - Didier Samoun scored four goals to lead France to a 6-5 win over a surprisingly tough United Arab Emirates on Saturday in the opening round of the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup.

RIO DE JANEIRO - Didier Samoun scored four goals to lead France to a 6-5 win over a surprisingly tough United Arab Emirates on Saturday in the opening round of the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup.

France, who won the title when Fifa took over the tournament in 2005, also got a pair of goals from captain Jeremy Basquaise before Samoun scored his fourth to break a 5-5 tie in the final period.

In the other Group D game, Nigeria stunned Argentina 5-3 and shares the group lead with France, with three points each.

Ogbonnaya Okemmiri scored a pair of goals to lead the Beach Eagles to a 5-1 lead, before Santiago Hilaire and Federico Andrade scored just before the final break to pull Argentina close. But Nigeria goalkeeper Abdullahi Isa played well in the final period to clinch the victory.

In Group C, Ricar scored a brace and consistently attacked the goal as last year's finalists Uruguay edged out Italy 3-2 after extra time.

Italy grabbed a 2-0 lead on strikes by Roberto Pasquali and Paolo Palmacci, but Ricar evened the score with two goals before the final break.

Both sides had chances in the final 12 minutes, but it was Uruguay who collected the three points when Matias rounded off a speedy move for the final goal.

In the final Group C game, Senegal got two goals from Pape Koukpaki, one from a penalty, to beat Japan 4-1. Japan managed just one late goal by Shushei Yamauchi, and Senegalese goalkeeper Seyni Ndiaye stopped a penalty to guarantee the win. - Sapa-AP

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